Friday, May 16, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 17

I Peter 2:11-12 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Yesterday we read that God has graciously made us members of His kingdom. As sinners, apart from Christ, we dwelt in darkness. We couldn’t see God’s will for us clearly. We were blind. But, Christ has come and by His Word of forgiveness, has opened our eyes to the truth of our sin and God’s mercy. No longer dwelling in darkness, we look to Christ for guidance as we make our way to our homeland.

Now, the residents in the land of darkness do not take too kindly to the news that we are moving out. So they constantly tempt us to fall back into the darkness, to close our eyes to God’s will, and return to the slavery of our sin. When that doesn’t work because the Spirit causes us to stand firm, the world will begin to curse us, call us names, and seek to accuse us of all kinds of wrongdoing. This world wants our destruction.

They wanted the same for Jesus. But, He stood firm. Remember how hard it was for Pilate to find Jesus guilty? He had lived such a life that the accusations of his prosecutors couldn’t stand up in court. Nonetheless, they crucified Him.

As Jesus’ followers, we should not be surprised when we are treated like Christ by the world. But, rest assured, that though the world will seek to kill us, the Father in heaven will see our good deeds in the light of Christ’s death for us and raise us with Jesus saying “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21). The world may treat us like Jesus, but on the day of the resurrection, so will the Father!

Father, I praise you for those times when the world has looked down on me for my faith. For I know when that happens, you look down on me in my faith and promise that you Son has overcome the world. Teach me to cling to you in the midst of trials and raise me on the last day so I may see your Son. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob


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